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ASoG
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This bot won't go away!
Apr 13th, 2012 at 2:57pm
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I recently had a bot sign up on my forums under the name DLSteven (not sure if the name is relevant or not)

I was unable to do anything with this bot. I could not reject or deny it's application to join the forum, the buttons simply were not there. I don't remember the exact error, but it was something quite unusual that I had never seen before ...

However, this isn't the main problem. Since this bot has shown up, I've been receiving almost 3 times the amount of bot applications per day on my forum. This is becoming a real hassle, and any help would be greatly appreciated.
  
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Bill Myers
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Re: This bot won't go away!
Reply #1 - Apr 13th, 2012 at 3:44pm
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ASoG wrote on Apr 13th, 2012 at 2:57pm:
I recently had a bot sign up on my forums under the name DLSteven (not sure if the name is relevant or not)

I was unable to do anything with this bot. I could not reject or deny it's application to join the forum, the buttons simply were not there. I don't remember the exact error, but it was something quite unusual that I had never seen before ...

However, this isn't the main problem. Since this bot has shown up, I've been receiving almost 3 times the amount of bot applications per day on my forum. This is becoming a real hassle, and any help would be greatly appreciated.

According to this Stop Forum Spam page for "DLSteven", this is a name that is associated with spamming. Certainly as you've confirmed, this is the case in your forum.

As for the buttons you use to manage your forum, sometimes they'll disappear if you stay logged on all the time, especially if you come back to your forum day in and day out without logging off, and then logging on again. This isn't likely to be related to YaBB itself, but that isn't relevant.

To fix this problem, try logging off, and then logging back on. That might work.  Wink

If this doesn't fix the problem, the more likely thing is that this particular file got corrupted, and can't be rejected or denied in the normal way. However, you can still get rid of it. Click the link here in this forum for details.

As for your main problem, even though YaBB's own support forum here continues to get spammed (by choice; not because it can't be stopped), you can very easily stop all spam-bots from registering in your own forum.

I see that your forum has enabled the captcha verification code. This is good. But of course, spam bots now have programs that can figure out the verification code to use, and they do this in an automated process. No problem.

Ideally, you can install an anti-spam mod that I understand is available from BoardMod. That option for me was, and still is above my learning curve, so I took the approach for dummies, and implemented a very effective anti-spam captcha modification.

Click the link here in this forum for details about how to stop spammers cold with this anti-spam captcha modification.

I can happily confirm that this relatively easy-to-implement anti-spam modification has stopped hundreds of thousands of spam-bots dead cold in a forum that I operate. Not one single spam bot has been able to register!

With the exception of a handful of hu-bots (human bot spammers) who have been easily stopped by utilizing Pre-registration with admin membership approval, only legitimate registrations have been processed.

Good luck!  Wink

Edited:
By the way, if you enable an anti-spam mod or you modify your captcha verification code, you can change that code to be more easily read by people who want to register in your forum. In other words, you can choose No Random Noise for your image background.

Cool Wink
« Last Edit: Apr 13th, 2012 at 3:50pm by Bill Myers »  

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ASoG
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Re: This bot won't go away!
Reply #2 - Apr 13th, 2012 at 5:06pm
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Thanks for the speedy reply! Smiley

I've implemented those changes, it does appear that the file for DLSteven was corrupt, as other admins on the forum had confirmed for me that they were unable to delete him either. I'm eager to see the results of this anti spam measure!
  
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Bill Myers
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Re: This bot won't go away!
Reply #3 - Apr 13th, 2012 at 6:10pm
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ASoG wrote on Apr 13th, 2012 at 5:06pm:
Thanks for the speedy reply! Smiley

I've implemented those changes, it does appear that the file for DLSteven was corrupt, as other admins on the forum had confirmed for me that they were unable to delete him either. I'm eager to see the results of this anti spam measure!

Very cool!  Cool

I see that you did indeed implement your anti-spam hack for spam bots. So check out your error log from time to time, and I think you'll be happy to see the following error repeated over and over:

Code
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The Verification code was not the same as the image presented on screen, please go back, refresh (hit F5 on most browsers) and try again.  


I also noticed that you must have modified at least one of the other files (and hopefully the other files as well), because when I checked the result of your forum's Forgot Password? link, I confirmed the following instructions:


Please type exactly what text appears in the image,
without the first two and last two characters.
The characters must be typed in the same order,
and they are case-sensitive.


Nicely done!  Smiley
  

Morning, noon, or night, have a great one!

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Bill Myers
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Re: This bot won't go away!
Reply #4 - Apr 13th, 2012 at 6:26pm
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By the way, right below your verification code instructions, while it certainly isn't necessary, I would add one line at the top of your User Agreement so that it stands out in highlighted text as the first line that people can easily see.

So in your forum as you have it now, everyone would see the following (in our forum it's on one line with a full screen):


Important: Carefully read the instructions about what to type in the Verification Code box above. You need to remember not to include the first two and last two characters.

You agree, through your use of these forums, that ...


You can easily modify your User Agreement via your Admin Center to make it appear as I have it above if you use the following HTML language:

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<SPAN style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffff00"><font color="red">Important</font>: Carefully read the instructions about what to type in the <b>Verification Code</b> box above. You need to remember <font color="red"><b>not</b></font> to include the first two and last two characters.</span> 


You might even want to include in your User Agreement an email address in case anyone has trouble registering in your forum. I've only had this happen once so far, but just in case.

But hey! It's your forum, so do what you want. Wink
Enjoy your spam-free forum!  Smiley

Edited:
Edited for formatting, and to correct a spelling error.
« Last Edit: Apr 13th, 2012 at 6:31pm by Bill Myers »  

Morning, noon, or night, have a great one!

Note: This forum doesn't allow for us to freely edit our posts or topics to make corrections as needed, so please remember to look for subsequent posts if you see any mistakes or outdated information. Sorry for the inconvenience.
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